SQUASH THRIVING IN RUSSIA THANKS TO CAMPS & EXHIBITIONS

Squash has been taken to new heights in Russia recently thanks to the introduction of camps and exhibitions for children to get involved in the sport.

Recently the Pro Sports Centre – Squash Club held an exhibition at the VK Music Festival over two days which saw the glass court fully booked and exhibitions and classes proving popular as a whole host of new people got involved in playing the sport or trying it for the first time.

Coach, David Clegg, who is helping to develop squash in Russia by running camps and putting on exhibitions, is a full-time coach at the PRO Sports Centre in St Petersburg and spoke of how he is helping to introduce squash in the country.

It has been challenge trying to build a new sport like squash in countries like Russia and Belarus mainly because of the language barrier, but it is also a great project and life experience for me too. I have translators everywhere I go and because the sport is so new here people are very keen to learn and help me with my journey developing the sport.

“Each club is gaining more and more members each week, there is a lot of social media advertising for each club. I have been on the Morning News in St Petersburg and also doing a lot of interviews for magazines and newspapers.”

Clegg is a former player on the PSA World Tour and commented on how that led him to his new career path of coaching.

“Even when playing PSA around the world I always spent time with juniors and small clubs to help grow the sport. It’s just the personality I have and want to see the sport grow. It’s a really exciting challenge to work with kids in a country that’s only just starting the sport because I can be a part of the history of the sport in this region.”

Russia has 5 major squash hubs:

PRO Sports Centre, St Petersburg

Established in 2009. It has six squash courts - one of three biggest squash clubs in Russia.

Every year they make two international squash tournaments with 200-300 players from many different countries- White Night Open in July and St Petersburg Cup in November.

Nine squash coaches are employed by the club working under the guidance of Master Coach David Clegg

They also host master classes and squash camps with world top players and coaches:

2015 - Miguel Angel Rodriguez & Zahed Mohamed

2013 - Gregory Gaultier

2011 - Hisham Ashour

Last year, they participated in two mass events (70 000+ visitors) promoting squash on their mini-court.

Dinamo Squash Club Nizhny Novgorod,

Located 400 kilometers to the East of Moscow, is the only city in Russia with the squash club training juniors for international competitions. It has three courts and is attended by over 100 children players.

RC Club St Petersburg

The RC Club is situated in the heart of Saint Petersburg and was built in 2015 as a professional squash club.

There are more than 300 club members & more than 40 children are practicing weekly at the club. There are also golf simulators, table tennis tables and different kinds of fitness activities available.

LIGA Squash Centre

Opened in 2013. Located in St Petersburg, Russia,

The club has five professional CourtTech courts,

Each year, there is a huge squash tournament, Liga Squash Open, which is included in the Russian Squash Federation official schedule. The event takes place annually, in late September. 

National Squash Centre Moscow

The club is situated inside a world class gym which has eight squash courts. They hold the Russian Open which is 5k PSA event and four other PSA closed satellites each year. 

Falcon Club in Minsk Belarus

This club opened one year ago and has two Glass Courts and they hold the Minsk Open.

If you are interested in finding out more about squash in Russia then you can visit the below links:

Facebook pages: www.facebook.com/Davidcleggpsa

https://www.facebook.com/PROSportsCentre/

You can also email: david.clegg@protonmail.com for more information.